Saturday, March 25, 2023

I just started The One Kingdom, Book One of The Swan's War Trilogy by Sean Russell

I just started The One Kingdom, Book One of The Swan's War Trilogy by Sean Russell.

Sometimes one needs return to the classic tradition of Epic Fantasy and all that genre implies: sweeping, dramatic vistas dripping with equally ballad-worthy history as a backdrop to a main story flush with intrigue rooted in sorcery and war both ancient and new, plain and unseen. Such is the world I have leapt into, the One Kingdom of Ayr that is currently neither one nor a kingdom as two rival Houses battle not only for a long empty throne, but also those among them who dream of peace. A war rooted in ancient, fell enchantments as much as political ambition.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

I am stopping the grimdark Terra Incognita by Kevin J. Anderson

This is one voyage I can do without, for the destination is not as advertised, so I am taking the ship's lifeboat and going ashore. Yes, against all expectations, namely my own, I am doing what I have only done thrice before: quit a Fantasy series. Quite Terra Incognita by Kevin J. Anderson. Unlike Paul Kearney's Monarchies of God, I did not smell the grimdark on this one, for the coating is light, like a thin veneer of oil over pure water, but like Monarchies of God, Terra Incognita begins with the destruction of the Holy City and devolves into a full-blown war full of atrocities and counter-atrocities between rival Faiths until hatred is the only true religion there is.

At first, before this became bloodily apparent, I was willing to brush it off, figuring that half the tale would be on land and the other the epic adventure on the high seas I was hoping for and led to expect by the back (& front) cover(s). An expectation not born out halfway through so, per my standard protocol when thinking about quitting a book, I delved into the reviews and found, in addition to comparisons to GRRM, that this bloody trend continues; complete with the classic grimdark trait of many characters dying. But is the series truly grimdark, given that is not generally classified as such? Maybe, maybe not. But there is enough of grimdark's poison present to repel me, and if I need lessons on the folly of religious fanaticism/intolerance and the hatred-born wars they breed then I can read from my history bookshelf. Hence my decision and I am seriously disappointed about this since I had been looking forward to Terra Incognita for years, but it is time to cut my losses and abandon ship.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

My father and I have finished Greenglass House by Kate Milford

My father and I have finished Greenglass House by Kate Milford.

Greenglass House, a creaky old inn for smugglers perched atop an icy tor. But this Christmas Vacation Milo Pine will get little rest but lots of fun as a cast of strange characters arrive out of the cold, none being the regular smugglers but all of whom have unstated goals and interests in the inn. Thus Milo and his new friend Meddy must unravel clues, thefts, and tangled histories woven into the aging, rickety wood and green stain-glass filtered light in a delightful, and delightfully smart, mystery filled with unique in-and-outs, layers and twists in the equally distinctive halls and rooms of Greenglass House. So distinctive that though this book is classified as a Mystery, it felt like a Fantasy. Call it a Mystery quasi-fantasy.

Until next time, my friends.

Wednesday, March 8, 2023


HUZZAH!! Since before and especially after The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm we knew that Christopher Paolini was not done with his wondrous world of Alagaësia, the book giving us tantalizing hints of what was to come. And what has come is the unutterably splendid news of Murtagh, the next and first true full book sequel to The Inheritance Cycle! Truly I cannot adequately express my excitement as my love for this series is second to none save The Lord of the Rings itself, for Eragon was the first great Fantasy book I read on my own in the 6th grade (my father having read LOTR to me the year before)!

Ah, Alagaësia... land of the Dragon Riders and the Ancient Language. Both of which may be under very real threat. So, while Eragon manages rebuilding the Riders, tis up to an old friend, to Murtagh (and Thorn), to seek out this new enigmatic evil on roads both new and familiar; and maybe, hopefully, decide to rejoin friends who miss him. Kvetha Fricai, sé onr sverdar sitja hvass! I cannot wait for November!

Sunday, March 5, 2023

I have started The Edge of the World, book one of Terra Incognita by Kevin J. Anderson

I have started The Edge of the World, book one of Terra Incognita by Kevin J. Anderson.

This series has been sitting on my shelf for years, so it is with enormous excitement that I at last set sail to explore these uncharted waters for, ever since I first read Le Guin' Earthsea, I have been fascinated with heavily seafaring Fantasies – rare as saltwater pearls. The question is, which waters are more dangerous? The Ocean, Middle, and unexplored seas rife with sea serpents, storms, and worse, or the political one between Tierra and Uraba? Truly this is terra incognita, and hope lies on the blank spaces on the map marked only by the words "here be monsters."

"When you reach the edge of the world, you can fly." – The Book of Aiden

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Just finished Sword-Bearer, volume eight of the Novels of Tiger and Del by Jennifer Roberson

He was Tiger, born of the desert winds. She was Del, born of ice and storm.

Just finished Sword-Bearer, volume eight of the Novels of Tiger and Del by Jennifer Roberson.
Well, that just just tears it. If it is not tamed wild weather magic that uses dust-storms for sheepdogs, it is another Northern bandit; to say nothing of honor codes so inflexible and sword-dance specific they have little honor left. Still, that least that ioSkandic magic finally earned its keep and one enemy is very dead. But only one, and despite this being the last book out I am dead certain there will be another. An-elisua or no, codes or not, some songs need to be cut off - with steel. Regardless, it has been lovely riding with the Sandtiger's woman and Delilah's man, not to mention Neesha, Alric, Lena, and little Sula. Until next time, and the next circle, my friends.


Thursday, March 2, 2023

Epic Fantasy Music - Coronation

This is my first try at making Epic Fantasy Music using Magix Music Maker. I owe my inspiration to the muses Adrian von Ziegler, Peter Crowley, and BrunuhVille. The image is a pending scene from the only internet comic I read, GhostBlade, which matches the theme (and shares a title with) the song. The girl is Princess Aeolian of the Northern Desert, daughter of the Peaceful Titan and a master warrior in her own right. (Initially I was going to use a completely different AI-generated image of my own design, but then decided to support this master artist and storyteller.)